The topic we learned this week is “Waiting for diabetes: Perceptions of people with pre-diabetes: A qualitative study.” This study sought to inform the development of an educational intervention for people with pre-diabetes in the UK by ascertaining individuals’ experience of screening and diagnosis, their appraisal of the condition, and experience of health service delivery from diagnosis to 1 year post-diagnosis.
The methods this study used is qualitative interviews which directed by framework methodology. Fifteen people diagnosed with pre-diabetes from the community (Midlands, UK) as part of a screening programme. Data were collected through one-to-one, semi-structured interviews. Interviews lasted between 30 and 45 min and were conducted during a 6-week period between November and December 2005.
From this study we know that patients identified as having pre-diabetes currently emphasise their uncertainties about their diagnosis, its physical consequences and subsequent management. Interventions to enable the increasing numbers of individuals with pre-diabetes to manage their health optimally should evolve to address these uncertainties.
A qualitative approach such as this has utility in developing an evidence base where research findings are either absent or heterogeneous. Given the limited exploration of pre-diabetes’ impact to date, this study has enabled respondents to define, consider and communicate issues pertinent to them, unconstrained by extant and potentially limiting constructs implied in a questionnaire survey.
The practice implications of the study is that those delivering services to those at risk of, or diagnosed with, pre-diabetes should be aware of patient needs and tailor care to support and shape perceptions to enhance health-maintaining behaviours.